Sainz says 90% of drivers would lose against Hamilton in the same car

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz agrees with Max Verstappen’s claim that ‘90% of the field could win in a Mercedes’, but adds they first have to face Lewis Hamilton.

The debate over how much of Lewis Hamilton’s success is down to his ability, and how much to his car, rages on. After Max Verstappen claimed 90% of drivers could win in a Mercedes, Carlos Sainz felt he had to add a caveat to that statement.

“I agree with Max that 90 percent would probably win in the Mercedes, in the race and qualifying,” the Spaniard told

“But if you put half of the field against Hamilton in a Mercedes, then 90 per cent of them would not beat him.

“If you take Hamilton out of the competition, however, then everyone in the current field would probably win in a Mercedes.

“That describes quite well what is happening in Formula 1 today, but also that Hamilton is one of the very best – even if he has the best car.”

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Sainz went on to explain how this is evident when the Briton is compared to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

“I look very carefully at how Hamilton delivers under pressure. How he manages to master all sectors so well in Q3 and to take pole position, even if he only has a small lead over Bottas.

“In Austria [at the Styrian Grand Prix qualifying], he beat Bottas by a second and a half in the rain. He can do things that not everyone can do. But I would have to be his team-mate to give even more details.

“Hamilton seems to be one of the best drivers of all time to me. I know that even without being his teammate.”

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